"We will lift the ban on federal funding for promising embryonic stem cell research. We will also vigorously support scientists who pursue this research," Obama said at a session in the White House.
Obama disagreed with the Bush administration that had explained the restriction by moral reasons. He said such a position was like "a false choice between sound science and moral values."
"As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research - and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly," the U.S. president said.